Kismet (1944) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • In ancient Bagdad, Hafiz is a beggar - self coined the King of Beggars - and a master of the slight of hand. He often likes to wander the streets late at night pretending to be a Prince, specifically of Hassir located in the farthest reaches of the empire. In the process, he has entered into a passionate romance with a beautiful woman, Jamilla. He is unaware that she is one of the queens of the Grand Vizier - the most powerful man in the empire - to who she was provided in a power deal with Macedonia, the deal agreed to by Jamilla only under the condition that she retain her independence. In turn, Jamilla knows that her lover is not who he says he is, she, however, not having any idea that he is mere street beggar. She doesn't mind his lies as they are a means to escape into a fantasy world away from the reality of life with the Grand Vizier. At home, Hafiz has told his daughter, Marsinah, since she was a child that she would marry a prince, rather than the reality of she probably marrying someone like a camel man. The story includes he having built a high wall in which to enclose her that only a prince could penetrate. However, unknown to her father, Marsinah, in peering over the wall, has fallen mutually in love with the son of the head gardener of the new Caliph, the ruler of all of Arabia. What she does not know is that her love is in reality the new Caliph, he who likes to wander the streets in disguise at night as a commoner to ascertain the true feelings of his subjects. The Caliph is unaware that Marsinah's father, who he knows is a beggar, is the man who saved him one night, the man calling himself the Prince of Hassir, which he knows is not the truth. Hafiz, in turn, does not know the man he saved is either the Caliph or that he is in mutual love with Marsinah. The Caliph plans to call the Grand Vizier in front of him on charges of corruption. In turn, the Grand Vizier plans to have the Caliph murdered to assume the throne himself. Seeing that his daughter now has womanly feelings, Hafiz knows he now has to make his story of her marrying a prince come to life. Using his skills of disguise and magic, Hafiz plans on arranging a marriage between Marsinah and the Grand Vizier, who he can see has his sights set on being the Caliph. With all these mistaken and unknown identities, what happens among this collective may come down to fate - kismet - which Hafiz mistakenly believes he can control.

  • Hafiz, a rascally beggar on the periphery of the court of Baghdad, schemes to marry his daughter to royalty and to win the heart of the queen of the castle himself.


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